Nintendo has unveiled its new NX hardware, and it's actually called the Nintendo Switch.
The Swtich is a transforming handheld tablet, and has a docking station just like past reports. Gamers can actively switch between the tablet on the go, attaching transforming controllers to it, or dock it for console based play. The Switch was shown playing Zelda Breath of the Wild, and it looks like you'll get the exact same gameplay while on-the-go on the handheld as you would while it's docked for console play.
"Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries."
It will have cartridge-based games, and features a detachable controllers called JoyCons. The tablet itself is referred to as the "Switch console", and docks into a U-shaped "Switch Dock" to enable traditional couch-based living room play. The Switch will have its own traditional wireless Pro Controller, as well as a "JoyCon Grip" that merges the two JoyCon controllers together. Up to four Nintendo Switch consoles can be hooked up for seamless wireless multiplayer.
After months of waiting and silence, Nintendo will reveal its NX system today at 10AM EST in a brief 3 minute preview trailer, possibly showing off some of the NX's games. Ahead of the major reveal, Nintendo Japan has published two new bits of Zelda: Breath of the Wild footage that may accompany the system's announcement.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild features a seamless and dynamically interactive open world, and it may be one of the NX's core launch titles. Nintendo affirms that this new Zelda will be an "immediate reason to buy an NX." We're not sure if the new footage is actually running on an NX or not, but if it is, don't expect any major high-end specs: after all, Nintendo has affirmed it's focusing on the "greatness of games over specs."
Nintendo has confirmed the game will launch simultaneously on the NX and Wii U, possibly around March 2017. We might even get a bonafide release date for Breath of the Wild during Nintendo's NX preview event, but I'd expect something this big to be announced at the full follow-up Nintendo Direct showcase.
While the focus on gaming right now sits with Battlefield 1, Respawn Entertainment and EA are rolling up to the big launch of Titanfall 2, which has a new gameplay trailer released powered by NVIDIA's new Titan X graphics card.
Titanfall 2 running at 4K 60FPS is truly glorious to see, with Respawn teasing: "Check out the exclusiveTitanfall 2 4K gameplay footage of the Trial By Fire single player campaign mission running at 60 frames per second, captured on a TITAN X". The game launches with some exclusive PC options, with NVIDIA working with the team at Respawn on Titanfall 2. Here's what to expect:
- DSR lets you crank up the internal rendering resolution when you've got spare performance, further improving the quality of your graphics. For example, if you own a GeForce GTX 1080 and use a 1920×1080 screen, you'll be able to render Titanfall 2 on your graphics card at 3840×2160, and then automatically downsize the picture to fit your 1920×1080 monitor, greatly enhancing image quality.
- MFAA is an innovative NVIDIA anti-aliasing technology that decreases the performance impact of high-quality MSAA anti-aliasing, giving you higher framerates and the option to spend saved frames on other settings that further improve image quality.
- Surround enables you to extend your view of Titanfall 2 by playing with three monitors. See more of the action, and see enemies approaching from the left or right, giving you a competitive advantage.
- FCAT and other testing technology enables NVIDIA engineers to examine the performance of games in great detail, revealing stutters and other issues that we can rectify in the game code and through driver updates before a game's release. This ensures GeForce GTX GPUs deliver the smoothest experience in every game.
Forza Horizon 3 is definitely a gorgeous game, and now we know how the team at Playground Games achieved that, as Creative Director Ralph Fulton recently sat dwon with The Guardian and talked about some of the technical side of FH3.
Fulton started with talking about the use of a voxel-based GI solution for real-time lighting, explaining: "Forza Horizon 3 uses a voxel-based global illumination system to calculate light bounces in real-time. This system uses the HDR sky, other light sources and offline-generated occlusion data to work out which surfaces the light bounces onto".
He continued: "For an easy way to see the impact that bounced light has on a scene, look at locations with complex shadows like the entrance to a cave or crevices in a rock formation - in Forza Horizon 2, those shadows would have had a single colour value which meant the shadow would be uniform everywhere there was no direct light. In Forza Horizon 3, we calculate how light - and hence colour - bounces into partially occluded areas so shadows have a much higher variation in darkness and colour. The depths of a tunnel, with no direct and minimal indirect light, will be almost black; whereas the edges of shadow will bleed naturally from dark to light based on indirect bounced light".
Nintendo will broadcast a preview trailer for its new NX system tomorrow at 7AM PST/10AM EST.
After months of total silence and waiting, Nintendo will finally unveil the NX (or at least part of it) in a special preview trailer on the morrow. Nintendo is now describing the NX as a "home gaming system," hinting that it will be a traditional handheld-and-console duo rather than a transforming handheld hybrid.
I've outlined and analyzed all the different possible configurations of the NX hardware, but the most compelling one is a portable handheld and dedicated home console duo. As the NX's games are likely cartridge-based, I postulated that the system could seamlessly blend handheld, mobile, and console gaming in a unified ecosystem.
It's no secret that Path of Exile was heavily influenced by old-school ARPGs like Diablo, and many gamers considering Path of Exile to be the true successor to Diablo II. In a very fitting "the stars have aligned" bit of prophecy, David Brevik, one of the original founders of Blizzard North and key devs behind the Diablo franchise, is now advising Path of Exile's development.
Remember when legendary Diablo dev David Brevik (or "Dark Father David Brevik" as the announcement post refers to him) Tweeted this and the entire Diablo fanbase thought it meant he was returning to work on Diablo 4? Sadly that turned out to be false, but it's the next best thing: Brevik has been tapped to help steer the free-to-play ARPG Path of Exile back on course by "polishing" the game in order to "bring back players."
As announced in a recent Chinese press release, Brevik will serve in an advisory role, and has been communicating directly with Grinding Gear Games founder and dev Chris Wilson. "David is an advisor, primarily for our launch in mainland China, but we hope to learn from his experience as much as we can over the coming months," Wilson told PC Invasion.
The voice of BJ Blazkovicz teases that the gruff Nazi-hunter's story isn't over, and we could be getting a Wolfenstein game sequel.
There had been rumblings of a sequel to Machine Games' excellent Wolfenstein: The New Order for quite some time, and Bethesda's subtle E3 2016 clue directly listed a new game called Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. The New Colossus is the name of Emma Lazarus' poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, with the the famous "give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" line.
Now BJ Blazkowicz voice actor Brian Bloom delivers some fresh hints in a recent interview with Two Left Sticks:"If you look at Bethesda's E3 2016 lineup there was a title hinted at in a cool way. It sparked a bit of wildfire. That subtle, very simple DOS language, going through the titles. Perhaps we're working on that as we speak. Whoever BJ Blazkowicz was, in the content we have so far, he's the articulation of a promise not kept; a country that surrendered while he was in a coma. He's fighting a war on his own with a very small group of people, completely outgunned and out-manned. A world taken over by the scourge of racism, nazism, and fascism."
Microsoft truly believes that major third-party publishers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft will embrace its cross-buy PC-and-console Play Anywhere initiative, despite these companies losing out on potential sales.
Xbox's Play Anywhere program is great for first-party games, and many gamers love the idea of buying a digital PC game and getting a free console port with their purchase. It's an effort to unify Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox brand, but not all publishers are likely to be keen on this idea, as companies typically hate the word "free," especially when it applies to something they can charge $60 for. In an interview with PC Authority, Xbox division manager Phil Spencer was recently asked if third-party publishers will ever adopt Play Anywhere, and here's what he said:
"I'd say some of the bigger traditional third party publishers, they want to see how [Play Anywhere] works out for us. There's always a fear that 'are you giving away two games for the price of one?' I'll say I think there are very few people that actually buy a game twice, once on PC, once on console. So really what you're doing is you're just allowing the customer you already have to play your game more often. In today's world, engagement on games is more engagement on games is almost always a good thing, given multiplayer and the business models around those games. But the ID community has given us a good reception for Xbox Play Anywhere, and I think the third party big publisher adoption will happen in time. I think it's really going to be up to gamers, do they find it a feature that they want, and how vocal are they about that? We're seeing early word from ReCore and Forza Horizon 3 that people are using the feature and finding it useful, which is great."
Blizzard prepared something special for World of Warcraft players, especially those who have been playing the game for a while. After updating some of the old dungeons in the past, such as Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, Blizzard will now upgrade Karazhan and turn it into a 5-man dungeon.
Karazhan was initially introduced as a ten-player raid instance in the Burning Crusade expansion but even after newer expansions came out, and Karazhan wasn't actual anymore, many players kept returning there hoping the Fiery Warhorse's Reins would drop.
With patch 7.1, confirmed for October 25th, players will once again return to Karazhan. The developers promised that the Return to Karazhan would feature lots of new content, and the comeback of the iconic Karazhan will gladden many players.
After the rather dull Platinum Demo, my expectations for Final Fantasy 15 somewhat faltered; and I wasn't alone. FF15's Titan battle demo at Xbox's E3 2016 showcase didn't help much, and then we had reports that the game was an unoptimized mess on consoles, barely hitting 1080p 30FPS. To address this and polish the game to a fine sheen, Square Enix delayed FF15 to late November.
But it looks like all of our fears and worries were in vain, and Square Enix has made great progress with the game. According to Polygon's Phil Kollar, the game is actually "very good" and that it was "worth the wait." Kollar played through the first 15 hours of the game's total 200 or so hours of content, taking on a portion of what the game had to offer in that slice of time: side missions, main quests, combat, open world exploration, etc. We're not sure if Kollar tested the final optimized version, or if he's playing the E3 2016 demo version, and I've reached out to him for clarification.
Now I typically don't write about hands-on experiences from other sites, but I feel this is important enough to warrant a post, especially since this is one of the few hands-on previews from a site this close to the game's release. I think a lot of people are on the fence about Final Fantasy 15, and I think something like this could help them decide. I think millions of gamers are worried about Final Fantasy 15, and given its troubled ten-year development cycle, it's a natural reaction. But I'd say at least check out the hands-on previews, the multitude of in-game footage, and Square Enix's Active Time Reports before jumping ship.